About this dataset
When air temperature falls below freezing (0°Celsius), the water droplets in clouds harden into ice crystals. Such crystals may grow into large, lacey snowflakes; or they may stick together to form odd-shaped clusters of ice crystals. When they grow heavy enough, the ice crystals fall to the ground as snow. If the ground temperature is also below freezing, the snow can build up into a bright white blanket covering the surface. Snow cover is an important part of Earth's environment. Because it reflects most of the sunlight that hits it, snow helps to cool Earth's surface. Many areas of the world rely on snowmelt for drinking water and water for their crops. So scientists monitor where and how much of Earth's landscape is covered by snow.
What do the colors mean?
In these maps, the white areas show lands that were completely snow-covered on the dates shown. The light blue shades show regions in which there was only partial snow cover.
ATBD (Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document)
Images by Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory, using data courtesy National Snow & Ice Data Center.
Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata
View the FGDC Metatdata for Snow Cover (1 month - Terra/MODIS)